Bill to Protect 22,000 Acres of Wilderness in Washington State Clears House Committee

Washington State is one step closer to protecting a chunk of the Cascades this week.

The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions and the Pratt and Middle Fork Snoqualmie Rivers Protection Act cleared the Natural Resources committee in the U.S. House of Representatives last Wednesday.

If passed, the bill will protect 22,000 acres of wilderness adjoining the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, and will add 10 miles of the Pratt River and 30 miles of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River to the National Wild and Scenic River System.

From the Snoqualmie Valley Record:

“Protection of these spectacular rivers has so many benefits for nearby communities,” said Thomas O’Keefe, Pacific Northwest Stewardship Director for American Whitewater. “With the proximity of the Pratt and Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie rivers to the major urban center of Seattle, residents of the region have unparalleled access to an abundance of recreational opportunities provided by these world-class rivers. As someone who has explored hundreds of river miles across the country and around the world, I can confidently say that we have some of the most spectacular river resources of any place in the world.

Next steps: The bill, which has strong bipartisan support, will be brought before the House and Senate for votes. When the bill passes through there, it will go on to the President to be signed in.

We'll let you know what happens!